Inside the Rehearsal Room with THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE

4 min read

By Martin McDonagh

Get a sneak peek into the rehearsal room as The Beauty Queen of Leenane comes to life, before taking to the stage at Theatre on the Square in Sandton from 4 – 29 October 2022.

Inside the rehearsal room with director Charmaine Weir-Smith

“With less than two weeks to go before opening, rehearsals are in full swing for The Beauty Queen of Leenane. At the start of any creative process, I am reminded of a quote from one of my favourite actors, Alan Alda:

“The creative is a place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”

And that’s the journey I’ve taken with this stellar cast.

Every day they bring their expertise, boldness and intuition into the rehearsal room, where they explore the highs and lows of the human condition against a backdrop of some of the best writing in modern theatre.

The playwright, Martin McDonagh, has crafted a darkly funny play filled with unexpected twists that leave the audience reeling. At its core, the story is about a mother and daughter relationship.

But at its heart, it’s about love, belonging, yearning and searching for truth.

The joy of working with this cast is that they are simply all about the work. The combined talents of Jennifer Steyn, Julie-Anne McDowell, Bryan Hiles and Sven Ruygrok have resulted in a powerhouse theatre production that I’m immensely proud to be associated with.

The work in our rehearsal room is far from over, but the story that is taking shape is utterly compelling. One that you don’t want to miss.”

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is proudly presented by How Now Brown Cow Productions and is their premiere production.  

Producer Daniel Galloway had this to add; ““I recently had the great joy of sitting in some of the rehearsals in Joburg. The room was electric. The comedy is biting, the tension is strong. These fine actors, in the genius hands of Charmaine, are carving out a true theatrical gem.”

He concludes; “Anyone who considers themselves a theatre-goer must come and see, and celebrate this incredible effort by this remarkable team of deeply gifted theatre makers. Our run is short and will be over before you know it – so jump up Joburg and grab your seats!”

The Beauty Queen of Leenane, written by acclaimed Irish playwright Martin McDonagh and winner of four Tony Awards, is a darkly comic tale about the turbulent, dysfunctional and often savage relationship between mother and daughter, Mag and Maureen Folan.

The play centres around the life of Maureen (Julie-Anne McDowell), an unmarried middle-aged woman, as she cares for her ailing mother Mag (Jennifer Steyn), and tries to find love. When the two brothers Pato and Ray (Bryan Hiles and Sven Ruygrok) enter, we are set on a path to the play’s thrilling conclusion. Interspersed with romance and humour, this psychological thriller will have audiences on the edge of their seats.

The How Now Brown Cow debut Johannesburg season of The Beauty Queen of Leenane will run at Theatre on the Square in Sandton from 4 – 29 October 2022.

Performances will run at 8pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays, with an additional 3pm matinee on each Saturday of the season.

The production carries a suggested age-appropriate restriction of no under 12s.

Tickets are available via the theatre’s website at or by calling the Box Office on 011 883 8606 or 083 377 4969.
Bookings can also be made on Computicket or by calling their call centre on 011 240 8000.

For more information, please click on

Follow How Now Brown Cow online:


*Picture Credit : Brett Rubin

Unfold Much More Here...

+ There are no comments

Add yours